I love the blues. All the blues. Jelly Roll Morton, Willie Dixon, The Singing Brake-Man Jimmie Rodgers, Big Mama Thornton, Stevie Ray Vaughn (esp when he’s playing with Albert King), B.B. King, Alvin Lee (with and after Ten Years After), The Allman Brothers Band. I can’t get enough.
So I was intrigued when one of my favorite actors, Hugh Laurie, began cutting blues albums. First, he dropped, Let Them Talk, a tribute to New Orleans blues. Check out Laurie’s cover of the great Jimmie Rodger’s Waiting for a Train. I think the Singing Brake-Man would love it.
Laurie’s voice is perfect for New Orlean’s style blues and now he is delving deep into the blues genre with blues from all over the spectrum. His new release, Didn’t It Rain, includes covers of Dr. John’s Wild Honey, W.C. Handy’s St. Louis Blues, Jelly Roll Morton’s I Hate a Man Like You. (Just for fun, here’s Jelly Roll Morton.) Oh, and lest I forget, Laurie is joined by his multi-talented band, The Copper Bottom Band and two guest vocalists, Gaby Moreno and Jean McClain. If that’s not enough, Taj Mahal makes an appearance on Little Brother Montgomery’s Vicksburg Blues.
Laurie stopped by The Colbert Report last night to promote the album, but unfortunately, didn’t perform except in a skit about network television petitioning the FCC to ease indecency standards. I would have much rather heard a cut from the new record, but alas it was not to be.
I have been, however, listening to the record most of the day, and it is worth the purchase. The interview with Corbert is worthy, too. And the skit okay if you like that sort of humor.
My favorite part of the interview was when Laurie stated that blues music is as high a form of art as classical. This is an argument I’ve made many time. If the arts are to evoke emotion, the blues must be art in its highest form.
Hugh Laurie’s Didn’t It Rain is brilliant. Don’t miss this one.